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جمعرات، 19 مئی، 2011

China to give Pakistan 50 JF-17 aircraft

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani on Wednesday said China has supported Pakistan`s cause at international level by telling the United States to appreciate sacrifices of Pakistan in war on terror and avoid harming its sovereignty "China supported Pakistan`s cause on its own,"

China has agreed to immediately provide Pakistan 50 new JF - 17 Thunder multi role jets under a co-production agreement even as talks are on for more fighter aircraft including those with stealth technology.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao assured his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani of China’s “all-weather friendship” on Wednesday, at the start of a visit that sharply contrasts with the intense strain at present between Washington and Islamabad.

“I wish to stress here that no matter what changes might take place in the international landscape, China and Pakistan will remain forever good neighbours, good friends, good partners and good brothers,” Wen told Gilani, according to a pool report.

“I do believe that this visit will give a strong boost to the friendship and cooperation between our two countries and take that friendship and cooperation to a new high,” he added, during a meeting in central Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

Gilani’s four-day trip to China began on Tuesday to mark 60 years of diplomatic ties, but has also given the neighbours a chance to display their steadfast friendship, which stands at odds with US anger at Pakistan’s inability to catch Osama bin Laden.

“I would like to thank your Excellency for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to me and my delegation since our arrival in China,” Gilani told Wen.

Pakistan’s brittle relationship with the United States, its major donor, was intensely strained after US forces on May 2 killed bin Laden, the world’s most wanted man, in Pakistan. He appears to have hidden there for years, prompting anger and questions in Washington about why he was not found sooner.

China and Pakistan praise each other as “all-weather friends” and their close ties reflect long-standing shared wariness of their common neighbour, India, and a desire to hedge against US influence across the region. On Wednesday, official Chinese media kept up that theme.

“Currently, China and Pakistan both regard each other as diplomatic cornerstones and important backers,” said a commentary in the overseas edition of the People’s Daily, China’s main government newspaper.

Beijing’s support for Pakistan reflects its worries about instability spilling into its own western regions, especially heavily Muslim Xinjiang. But the mutual vows of Sino-Pakistani friendship only go so far in balancing US influence, several analysts told Reuters. Pakistan’s government and military are too reliant on US security and economic aid to risk that alliance.

Nor does Beijing want to risk deep entanglement in volatile Pakistani politics, risking its own interests and alienating India, a big but wary trade partner.

“Pakistan has high hopes for China, because its relations with the United States are so tense,” said Hu Shisheng, an expert on South Asia at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank in Beijing. “But nonetheless the US-Pakistani anti-terror alliance isn’t going to rupture.”

China will give 50 JF-17 aircrafts to Pakistan on emergency basis while reaffirming to standby Pakistan.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on Wednesday. Both Gilani and Jiabao discussed bilateral relations, strategic matters and host of other issues, including Abbottabad operation. The two leaders also discussed Abbottabad operation and its after affects on the regional situation, according to media reports.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday reaffirmed two countries will maintain an all-weather friendship. The two prime ministers agreed in principle to enhance volume of trade between the two countries and launching development projects in Pakistan.

The signing ceremony followed talks between Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People at the start of a visit to Beijing marking sixty years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Pakistan and China on Wednesday inked three agreements on banking, economic and technical cooperation and extension of gold and copper extraction from the Saindak mines.

China also offered a 70 million RMB grant for flood reconstruction and a 100 million RMB soft term loan to Pakistan. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing of agreements after holding talks at the Great Hall of the People here.

The agreements include a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between China Banking Regulatory Authority and State Bank of Pakistan, and two agreements; one on economic and technical cooperation and the other on extending the Saindak Gold and Copper Mining Project up to year 2017.

Both the sides noted that Pakistan and China enjoyed an exemplary relationship with a high degree of mutual trust, understanding and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues.
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